TracFone's Straight Talk denies 1.5 GB monthly data limit

Straight Talk, a prepaid wireless service from América Móvil's MVNO TracFone Wireless, took to its corporate blog to deny claims that it only offers users 1.5 GB of data per month.

"You may have heard rumors online that there is a hard cap of 1.5GB for data on Straight Talk," the company wrote. "We want to clear this up for you right away: We are NOT cutting off data at 1.5GB on Straight Talk. The data limit in reference only applies to Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP™) AT&T-compatible SIMs on our sister brand, NET10. In fact, most of our customers enjoy their unlimited data plans with no issues or complaints regarding their data speeds or service. Please see sections seven and eight of Straight Talk's terms and conditions for full details." (The bolding and links were included in Straight Talk's original post.)

In its post, Straight Talk also offers hints on how users can limit their data consumption, including switching to Wi-Fi when available and employing data-management apps like Onavo.

Straight Talk's comments dovetail with what a Straight Talk spokesperson told FierceWireless in January. The spokesperson, who declined to be named due to company policy, said Straight Talk evaluates customers' data intake on a case-by-case basis and will throttle the speeds of those users who the company deems to be consuming too much data. The spokesman said "continuous video streaming" and other data-heavy services could cause a user to consume too much data, in which case the company would contact the user and warn them of a possible slowdown in their data speeds.

Straight Talk isn't the only wireless company to employ this kind of case-by-case approach to throttling. Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) in 2010 announced a network management system that allows the company to selectively throttle the data speeds of heavy data users.

Straight Talk offers unlimited talking, texting and data starting at $45 per month for select feature phones, Android smartphones and, as of earlier this year, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.

In the fourth quarter TracFone posted net subscriber gains of 753,000 customers in the fourth quarter, much higher than the year-ago period and better than its net subscriber additions in the first three quarters of 2012. TracFone ended 2012 with 22.4 million customers, making it by far the largest MVNO in the United States.

For more:
- see this Straight Talk post

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